This delicious yellow cake with chocolate buttercream recipe is so good that you will never want store-bought ever again.
This yellow cake with chocolate buttercream recipe is the ultimate in simple vanilla cakes. It makes a lovely double layer cake perfect for birthdays or small gatherings. The buttercream is a batch of rich chocolate creamy deliciousness. It’s truly a crowd-pleaser. And for a novice baker, it’s one of the easiest recipes to make.
Baking without a Recipe
My newly acquired and much-appreciated baking skills are largely due to my discovery of base ratios. Understanding the science behind how recipes work helps in creating new recipes without relying on recipes. One book I recommend is Michael Ruhlman’s book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. This book basically changed my life.
Basic cake ratio by weight
flour = sugar
egg = fat
eggs + liquid = sugar
Knowing ratios is also great for making substitutions in a recipe. Another great resource is an article from Fine Cooking. It gives great insight into how and why the ingredients work together if you’d like to start creating your own cake recipes.
A Few Notes About the Ingredients
Flour- I use all-purpose flour because it’s always in the house. I will use the same amount of cake flour when it’s on-hand. So you can exchange the flours without problems. I don’t sift my flour most of the time because I am a bit of a lazy cook. A better cook might suggest sifting the flour; totally up to you.
Properly measuring the flour is not an option. I’ve seen so many recipe reviews where the biggest complaint is that the cake was too dry. I wonder if it’s because most people do not know how to measure flour properly. I’ve written a short post on measuring flour—HERE.
Fat- Could you use vegetable oil in this cake instead of butter? Yes, actually. But it tastes very plain. Using real butter adds to the flavor (more on flavor next). Use a good butter and let it come to almost liquid. I found that cold butter makes cakes a little tougher. Admittedly I am a lazy cook but this is something worth waiting for. Allow the butter to sit out on wax paper until it’s too soft to pick up by hand.
Liquid- I used homemade buttermilk with a teaspoon of baking soda in this recipe. You can also use sour cream with baking soda and it’ll turn out perfectly. The buttermilk adds more moisture to the cake than milk.
Flavor Extract– To flavor the cake you will need salt, vanilla extract, and butter extract. The butter flavor in this recipe is not very strong. Adding more butter for flavor would make the cake literally fall apart; it’ll bee too tender. And honestly, I’m not really sure how much extra butter would be needed to achieve the buttery taste you’d want. So the best solution is to use an extract.
How to Make Yellow Cake
This recipe starts by creaming very soft butter, sugar, butter and vanilla extract, followed by the eggs and yolks. Using extra yolks with whole eggs gives the cake color and a more silky texture. (You could add a drop or two of yellow food dye for a deeper color.)
Next, you mix together the flour, baking powder, salt. You can sift this mixture together if desired. I don’t always sift my ingredients and it comes out perfectly. The final step is to alternate adding the flour and milk. Start by adding one-third of the flour, half the milk, and repeat ending with the flour.
Pour the batter into a lined cake pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. This recipe will yield 2 9” rounds, a 9×13 rectangle, or 24 regular cupcakes. Cool completely before frosting.
This buttercream is silky and delicious. Whisking in heavy cream with a balloon whisk makes it light and fluffy. It spreads beautifully and holds at room temperature.
To make this wonderful buttercream simply beat softened butter with cocoa powder, heavy cream, vanilla, butter extract, and kosher salt with a mixer. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until smooth. Scrape down the bowl often. Add more cream for a creamier texture.
This recipe makes more than enough to frost a double layer cake. It doubles easily if more is needed.
- 3 c all-purpose flour properly measured
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 c butter very soft
- 1 3/4 c sugar
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp butter extract
- 1 c buttermilk
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 3/4 c butter
- 1/2 c cocoa powder
- 1/2 c heavy cream more if needed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt optional
- To the buttermilk add the baking soda and set aside.
- Cream butter, sugar, butter and vanilla extract, followed by the eggs and yolks.
- Next, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt. (Sifting optional.) Alternate adding the flour and milk. Start by adding one third of the flour, half the buttermilk mixture, and repeat ending with the flour to the creamed butter.
- Pour the batter into a lined cake pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- This recipe will yield 2 9” rounds, a 9×13 rectangle, or 24 regular cupcakes. Cool completely before frosting.
- Beat softened butter with cocoa powder, heavy cream, vanilla, butter extract, and kosher salt with a mixer. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until smooth. Scrape down the bowl often. Add more cream for a creamier texture.
Got a Sweet Tooth? Try more Great desserts!
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TY’S SWEET POTATO PRALINE SOUR CREAM POUND CAKE
CHOCOLATE CHIP PECAN BLONDIE BROWNIES